How to Make A Perfect Margarita At Home

Aug 20, 2022

Classic Margaritas

Originally published August 20, 2022. Updated May 4, 2023. 

There’s nothing quite like the refreshing zing of a well-crafted margarita to transport the mind to a state of pure bliss (or an infinity pool in Tulum). Its allure lies in its simplicity: tequila, citrus and a touch of sweetness.

Whether you’re a seasoned home bartender or a curious novice, get ready to become a maestro of margarita mixology. From selecting the finest tequila to finding the perfect balance of tanginess and sweetness, our in-house mixologists have distilled their knowledge into simple yet precise instructions to help you elevate your margarita game.


Hungry for more? Explore our selection of top-of-the-line blenders from the brands you love—KitchenAid®, Breville, Vitamix and more—and sip that margarita right from the comfort of your home.

Shop Our Collection of Blenders

how to make a margarita<br />


The first step toward making a classic but endlessly delicious and impressive margarita is the recipe. And lucky for us (and you!), our very own Kim Arispe—Creative Director, author of Liberal Libations and mixologist extraordinaire—has one she swears by. Check it out below:

  • 2 ounces of high-quality tequila
  • 1 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce of Cointreau
  • ½ ounce of homemade simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Lime wheel for garnish
  • Salt for rimming the glass (optional)
how to make a margarita<br />


Behind every good margarita is a good tequila. But “good” is subjective.

You might prefer the bold agave punch of a Blanco tequila, while someone else might enjoy the added complexity of a reposado or añejo. Whether you want something that’s crisp and refreshing, smooth and nuanced or somewhere in between, we recommend experimenting with different tequilas to find your desired flavor profile.


Blanco Tequila

Blanco tequila, also known as silver or white tequila, is unaged or aged for a short period, resulting in a clear spirit with a robust agave flavor. Its vibrant and crisp character makes it an excellent choice for margaritas, allowing the tequila’s pure agave essence to shine through.


Reposado Tequila

Reposado tequila is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of two months but less than a year, imparting a subtle complexity and smoothness. The slight caramel and vanilla notes derived from the aging process add depth to a margarita without overpowering the other ingredients.


Añejo Tequila

Añejo tequila is aged in oak barrels for at least one year, resulting in a rich, smooth and complex spirit.

While añejo tequila is often sipped neat, its caramel, oak and spice flavors can bring a luxurious depth to a margarita, especially in a refined or special occasion setting.


100% Agave Tequila

Opting for tequilas labeled as “100% agave” ensures that the spirit is made exclusively from agave plants, without any added sugars or fillers. These tequilas tend to have a purer and more authentic taste, making them ideal for crafting a high-quality margarita.

what glass to use for margarita<br />


When selecting a glass for your margarita, consider the style of the occasion, the aesthetics you prefer, and the level of formality. Ultimately, the glass should have a shape that showcases the vibrant colors of the margarita, allows for the addition of garnishes and provides a comfortable drinking experience. Here are our faves:


The Margarita Glass

The classic margarita glass features a wide, shallow bowl on a stem. It has a distinctive and elegant look, with a wide rim to be salted. The wide bowl provides ample space for the ice and shows off the vibrant colors of the margarita, while the stem keeps the drink cool and prevents the hand from warming the glass.


The Rocks Glass

If you prefer your margarita on the rocks (served over ice), a rocks glass can be a great choice. A rocks glass, also known as an old-fashioned glass, is short, sturdy and typically has a thick base. It’s commonly used for serving whiskey or cocktails over ice, and it provides a more casual and robust feel to the margarita experience.


The Stemless Wine Glass

A stemless wine glass offers a contemporary and versatile option for serving margaritas. These glasses typically have a wider bowl, similar to a traditional wine glass, which allows for swirling the margarita and appreciating its aroma. The lack of stem also makes them more stable and easier to handle. Opt for plastic if you’re sippin’ by the pool.


Pro Tip: Chill your glass in the freezer or with ice before serving to ensure the margarita stays cold for longer.

classic margarita liberal libations


Grab your cocktail shaker—we’re making a margarita.


Step 1: Make Simple Syrup

If you’ve never made simple syrup from home, this is your sign: it only takes a few minutes and tastes way better than store-bought options.

Simply combine 8 oz. sugar and 8 oz. water in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir constantly to dissolve the sugar, but do not let it simmer. Remove from heat and cool the syrup to room temperature before storing in an airtight container. Your homemade simple syrup should keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.


Step 2: Rim the Glass

If you like, rim the glass with salt or tajin (we like this chili lime margarita salt for a classic yet slightly spicy flavor) by moistening the rim with a lime wedge and dipping it into a shallow dish of your choice. This step adds an extra touch of flavor and presentation.


Step 3: Combine Ingredients

Combine 2 oz. tequila, 1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice, ½ oz. Cointreau and ½ oz. simple syrup. Add a handful of ice cubes to the shaker.

If you prefer a dry margarita, lose the simple syrup and increase the Cointreau to 1 oz.

If you prefer a sweeter margarita, swap the simple syrup for agave nectar. Start with ¼ oz. and add more to taste.


Step 4: Shake

Securely close the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for about 15–20 seconds. This will thoroughly mix the ingredients and chill the drink.


Step 5: Serve & Garnish

Using the shaker’s strainer or a fine-mesh sieve, strain the margarita mixture into the prepared glass filled with fresh ice cubes. Garnish with a lime wheel.

how to make a margarita<br />


Whether you prefer your margarita on the rocks, frozen or with a spicy twist, we’ll guide you through a few variations that’ll add a unique touch to your libation.


Flavored Margaritas

For a twist of flavor, try using different citrus fruits like grapefruit or blood orange in place of lime. Other popular fruity options include strawberry, mango, watermelon or pineapple.

Simply add the prepared fruit pieces to the shaker and muddle them gently to extract their flavors. Alternatively, you can blend the fruit with the margarita base in a blender for a smoother consistency.


Infused Tequila

Experiment with tequilas infused with flavors, such as jalapeño or pineapple, to add an extra layer of complexity to your margarita. Blanco tequila is often a good choice, as it allows the infused flavors to shine through.

You’ll then place the fruit of your choice into a clean glass container or jar that has a tight-fitting lid. Pour the tequila over the fruit, making sure it’s fully submerged. Seal the container tightly and store it in a cool, dark place.

The infusion time will depend on the desired intensity of flavor. For fruits, a few days to a week is usually sufficient. For herbs or spices, 24 to 48 hours is often enough. Spicier ingredients like peppers may require less time, as their flavors can become potent quickly.

Once the infusion is complete, strain the tequila to remove the flavoring ingredients. Use a fine-mesh sieve, cheesecloth or coffee filter to catch any particles. Transfer the infused tequila into a clean, airtight bottle or container for storage, and enjoy in your next margarita!


Frozen Margarita

A frozen margarita is a fantastic poolside twist. To make a frozen margarita, blend your classic margarita ingredients on high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy. This usually takes about 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on the power of your blender.

For a flavored frozen margarita, add fruit puree or a flavored syrup of your choice to the blender. Start with a small amount and adjust to achieve the desired flavor intensity.


Mezcal Margarita

Who says you have to stick with tequila? Give your well-rounded margarita a deep, smoky complexity by swapping your tequila for mezcal. The margarita was made for whatever agave-based spirit you desire.


Virgin Margarita

Mocktails are having a moment and we’re here for it. With so many impressive zero-proof spirits hitting the market, it’s worth exploring alternatives. Just substitute tequila with club soda or the zero-proof spirit of your choice.


Hungry for more? Explore our selection of top-of-the-line blenders from the brands you love—KitchenAid®, Breville, Vitamix and more—and sip that margarita right from the comfort of your home.

Shop Our Collection of Blenders

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